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New Nobles County assessor begins duties

Pam Friesen began her new position as Nobles County Assessor on Tuesday. She has more than 11 years experience as a deputy county assessor working in both Murray and Pipestone counties. (JULIE BUNTJER/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON — After more than 11 years as a deputy assessor in Murray and Pipestone counties, Pam Friesen is excited about her career advancement to Nobles County Assessor.

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She was officially appointed to the post Tuesday by Nobles County commissioners, and went to work that day in her office at the Government Center in Worthington.

A lifetime resident of southwest Minnesota, Friesen became a deputy assessor in Murray County after her 17-year career with Minnesota Corn Processors at Marshall came to an end. She had one of 111 positions that was cut when MCP was sold to Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM).

Friesen, who had previously attended Southwest State University in Marshall for accounting, said her role with MCP as an administrative assistant and manager of stock proved to be a good background for transitioning to a career in assessing.

While working for Murray County, she earned her Certified Minnesota Assessor licensure. She stayed there for five years before accepting a post in Pipestone County. During her tenure in Pipestone, she earned her Accredited Minnesota Assessor license.

Now, Friesen is intent on taking the next and final step of her licensure. As a county assessor, she is required to have her Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor (SAMA) license. She plans to take the SAMA test this summer.

“It’s a step up, but it’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Friesen said of her new job. “It just sounded like a good fit for me.”

Friesen has already begun studying for the eight-hour SAMA test. Even after earning the licensure, she said, she will still have continuing education classes each year.

She comes to Nobles County at a busy time for the assessing office. Property valuation notices are sent out in early April in advance of township meetings that begin April 14. She is already familiar with the computer programs for entering valuation data, but the tax system software is different from what she’s worked with in the past.

As a deputy assessor, Friesen also did local assessing on the weekends, and is well aware of the shortage of people who are able to do the work. She’s hoping to bring several of the local township assessors back from retirement to help.

“The state has now made it mandatory that all assessors have their AMA by 2019, and that includes township assessors,” Friesen said. “There’s a big shortage (of assessors), and then you have the problem of the different classes that need to be taken and they’re not offered all in a row.”

The classes are only offered in the metro area or in St. Cloud, which also makes it a challenge in recruiting.

Friesen said she got into assessing because she likes numbers, the challenges and being around people. She and her significant other live north of Slayton, and she has one grown son who resides on Lake Shetek.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer

may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at
(507) 376-7330